Tensions with neighboring China dominated the election on Saturday for the leader of Taiwan’s main opposition Nationalist Party.
Four candidates, including current president Johnny Chiang, are competing for the leadership of a party that has advocated closer ties with Beijing.
This means that Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party has refused to agree to Beijing’s demand that it recognize Taiwan as part of China.
China has threatened to use force to bring Taiwan under its control and is increasingly using military, diplomatic and economic pressure in an attempt to undermine President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration and influence opinion among the Taiwanese people. who strongly support the status quo, genuine freedom.
In keeping with public opinion, nationalists have advocated for less acrimonious relations with China, rather than direct steps towards integration between the parties, which are bound by closer economic, linguistic and cultural ties.
Others running are former party president and presidential candidate Eric Chu, former county chief Cho Po-yuan and academic Chang Ya-chung. The result is expected to be declared by Saturday evening.
The winner could emerge as the party’s candidate in the next presidential election in 2024, although this selection has yet to begin. Tsai is constitutionally barred from running for a third term.
Under Chiang Kai-shek, the party rose to power in China during the 1920s and led the struggle against Japanese invaders until the end of World War II. Chiang transferred government in 1949 to Taiwan, still officially known as the Republic of China, after Mao Zedong’s Communists came to power on mainland China.
Taiwan began the transition from a martial law regime to a multi-party democracy in the late 1980s and held its first direct presidential election in 1996. Since then, power has shifted between the Nationalists, also known as the KMT, and the DPP, although Tsai has won twice. healthy margins and his party has control over the national legislature.
China refuses to recognize Taiwan’s government and maintains that it is kept out of the United Nations and other international organizations.
Beijing says that the island’s participation in such roles as observer of the World Health Assembly is dependent on its support of the “one-China principle” and the “’92 consensus”, named that year by representatives of nationalists and communists. It was named after an agreement reached between them. that the parties were part of a single Chinese nation.
After Tsai’s first election victory in 2016, China cut off all formal contact between governments, banned Chinese tour groups from visiting the island and launched a campaign to address the dwindling number of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.
With increasing frequency, China has also sent military aircraft into airspace near Taiwan and threatened military exercises.
Partly in response, the US has increased political and military support for the island, despite the lack of formal diplomatic relations between them.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / China